How does Amazon cheat affiliates

You signed up for affiliate program
The company is welcoming, and stern about their rules

They have a slogan: 'Your success is our success'

But they have another slogan: Your feedback is helping us build Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company.

Remember customer-centric... not affiliate centric
You're just an affiliate and nothing more.
-not a partner
-not an advisor
-and definitely not a questioner or complainer
-you get what you got and the rest is up to you
-it's up to you... and you ain't no movie star because you got 1 gig

What does this mean for the affiliate?
It means your traffic that goes to their site becomes their customer...
Your traffic is not your customer once they reach Amazon... that customer is their customer.
So do not ever claim that your traffic to Amazon is your customer.

You post links on your site that go to Amazon
And suppose you have a link that does real well... it will be for a short while... but not for long.
Why do those links fade, even if web statistics show that your site gets volumes of unique visitors?

First of all, you might have the same people returning over and over, so the statistics showing unique visitors might be bad.... and so your visitors want something new.
Maybe your link is broken.
Maybe the product has bad reviews.
Maybe there is a better, yet similar product.
Maybe your webpage does not describe the product?
Maybe Amazon is failing as a retailer?
Maybe a newer website has taken your business? Maybe they copied your content?
Maybe Amazon knows exactly which page the successful link comes from, and targets 'their customer' with advertising based on your website traffic.
Keep in mind that Alexia web statistics belongs to Amazon.

So Amazon knows 'their customer' (not your customer) is visiting your site, and they know exactly which page generates which successful sale...

Now if you were an un-tethered, unregulated, predatory person with that knowledge, and you had mounds of cash, and a ready supply of software engineers willing to work overtime to find creative ways to make a profit ... what would be the result?

New topic: Links that go to products not sold on Amazon
Remember it is your responsibility to maintain links... and that makes sense... because it is your website, and you control the content.

But some products are no longer sold on Amazon... yet Amazon keeps the page showing that item... plus a link to the other website that does sell the product.
You do not get credit for a sale that does not go through Amazon checkout... fair enough.... because you know the rules.

Hold on a minute. Amazon did not decide to discontinue the product. The seller decided not to sell the product. But the seller also decided to leave the product available through a link on Amazon.
Now why would the seller keep the link on Amazon if Amazon did not show it in their search results?
Does Amazon own the company that purportedly sells the product offsite?
Suppose Amazon does not own the seller's company? Long short maybe? Why would the seller still show the product unless Amazon had affiliates that contributed to people who viewed the product?

Now imagine if you were un-tethered, unregulated, greedy person, with mounds of cash and plenty of tracking software engineers and accountants, ?
I tried chat.
Instead of answering question, I received a followup email that claimed I was complaining, and then another email telling me that my site was in VIOLATION...

The chat person did NOT answer the question.... nor 'forward the question' ... as they said they would.

If there I have a complaint, then the complaint is that the chat person was not attempting to understand the question.... and was more likely doing a job rather than the job.

Contact with Amazon affiliate chat can result in threats and banishment.
Product ads from external websites
OMG this is what Amazon is becomming.
And you get no credit for putting your viewer onto those other websiteds

Links that go to products no longer sold on amazon... but they have 'buy at another website'
You just got ripped off again.